I  was at a children’s store the other day to buy a birthday present for one of my grandchildren (I only give clothes, no toys) and the manager presented me with the offer of a sizeable discount if I opened a credit card. It was one I couldn’t refuse but should have. So I did. I later learned that the card was issued after a credit report was pulled. I didn’t give it any thought until I just happened to check my credit report (as I do annually) to see what, if anything, it was saying. Now, I wasn’t refused that credit card but I did find a slew of mistakes on the report I reviewed, so much so that I decided to check into this rather carefully.First of all, I found that according to a study by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, 25 percent of the population has at least one mistake on their credit report. I’m obviously now in that group. I began to wonder how such mistakes could cost people in the way of rejected credit, and even jobs.

“Credit is connected to our lives in every area and our scores determine our interest rates, insurance premiums and very livelihoods,” says Denise Richardson, a consumer advocate who has a new book out Give Me Back My Credit! She points out that the book looks to expose the high price consumers are paying for what she deems “dirty data” in order to fix a system “gone terribly wrong.”

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